Washington Pushing Back Against China Mobile's U.S. Ambitions

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Washington is still pushing back against China Mobile's stateside ambitions that the largest telecom giant in the Far Eastern country made official in 2011 when it applied to be considered as a wireless service provider between the United States and other nations. In a Monday statement from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Federal Communications Commission was urged to block the 2011 application once and for all, primarily due to national security concerns.

David Redl, Commerce Department's assistant secretary, said the agency's unit came to its ultimate conclusion regarding China Mobile following "significant engagement" and deliberation. The recommendation itself isn't surprising in light of the fact that the Beijing-based wireless carrier is a state-owned business and the largest network operator on the planet with approximately 900 million subscribers. As the U.S. government already showed on the examples of Huawei and ZTE, it generally isn't willing to engage with Chinese companies close to the communist government on any significant scale. The decision is unlikely to affect the firm's performance as its revenues remain mostly concentrated in its home country and most analysts have been expecting this turn of events for years.

Washington is presently in the process of placing Chinese companies seeking to operate in the U.S. under more scrutiny, especially if their plans for doing so involve investments in American technologies. The Commerce Department repeatedly said it's worried about China stealing stateside tech using a variety of means, with mergers and acquisitions being just some of the more straightforward ones. President Trump's administration appears to be moving toward a full-blown trade war with Beijing, having just recently announced a 25-percent tariff on some $50 billion worth of goods from the country, with the move specifically targeting its technologies and intellectual properties. China already threatened to retaliate but has yet to do so as it presumably awaits the outcome of the ZTE situation.

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